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ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

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easyguy
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ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by easyguy » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:46 pm

Hi guys,

I'm a British citizen (previously an Indian citizen) and applied for an ESTA recently looking at some threads here to find out if I can get an approval and travel next month.

The question on ESTA eligibility regarding refusals reads:
7) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DENIED A U.S. VISA YOU APPLIED FOR WITH YOUR CURRENT OR PREVIOUS PASSPORT, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN REFUSED ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OR WITHDRAWN YOUR APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION AT A U.S. PORT OF ENTRY?

To which I have answered YES then listed
WHEN: 2007
WHERE: Chennai, India

I had 2 visa refusals for a student visa back in 2007, reason being lack of funds and not having clear financial background information to support the case.
However on the ESTA form, I didn't specify the exact dates on when I was refused as I don't remember the dates or even the months here. I'm not 100% sure, I could have guessed it was June / July 07 or June / August 07, so left this as just the year i.e. 2007, the location was the same. I also entered information of previous passports clearly.

ESTA went on PENDING AUTHORIZATION then after 24 hours changed to APPROVED, however I'm now wondering if not specifying the exact dates or count clearly i.e. that it was twice or two visa refusals in 2007, would this be a problem or is it significant information to cause me issues when I travel? Or should this be okay and I can answer if asked at port of entry?

Any advise, thoughts or suggestions will be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

max307
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Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by max307 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:43 am

”If you were previously denied a visa, or previously refused entry to the United States, or previously removed from the U.S., your ESTA application will most likely be denied.

If you were allowed to board your carrier, you may be subject to additional processing upon arrival at U.S. ports of entry, and may be denied admission to the U.S.”


Having said that some others here in this forum with previous visa refusals were able to apply and travel to the U.S. several times on ESTAs. Bottom line - you never know with the U.S. immigration processes.

Do you have travel plans already? If you don’t maybe good idea to look at flights through Dublin where you will be able to clear U.S. immigration while in Europe and in case you are denied entry will be on this side of the pond.
I am not a lawyer or immigration counselor, all views expressed are my own, my comments do not constitute legal advice.

easyguy
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Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by easyguy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:18 am

Thanks max307, this makes sense.

I haven't booked my flights yet, I was about to do that as my travel is for work related purposes so need to confirm soon. A colleague of mine is travelling from London, so plan was to travel together.

I'll check if I can fly through Dublin. If immigration is cleared in Dublin, will there not be any further clearance in US?

Also do you think the fact that I couldn't be specific on the When question for previous refusals i.e. the dates where I only put 2007 and it not being clear if it's twice or once, could be any concern?
Thinking about it now, on the hindsight I could have put "Twice in 2007" but also I think the key question is if I had a refusal previously, yes or no. To which I confirmed yes and also on the initial section of the form I listed all previous passports etc, so I thought they would know the exact dates etc as it would come up on the system? 11/12 years is a long time, can't remember dates for sure :/

Where my ESTA went on PENDING AUTHORIZATION, I was guessing this was approved through manual intervention and not automatically by the system. Guessing, no one knows how this works.

Thanks again for your suggestions and advise on this.

max307
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Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by max307 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:22 pm

easyguy wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:18 am
Thanks max307, this makes sense.

I haven't booked my flights yet, I was about to do that as my travel is for work related purposes so need to confirm soon. A colleague of mine is travelling from London, so plan was to travel together.

I'll check if I can fly through Dublin. If immigration is cleared in Dublin, will there not be any further clearance in US?

Also do you think the fact that I couldn't be specific on the When question for previous refusals i.e. the dates where I only put 2007 and it not being clear if it's twice or once, could be any concern?
Thinking about it now, on the hindsight I could have put "Twice in 2007" but also I think the key question is if I had a refusal previously, yes or no. To which I confirmed yes and also on the initial section of the form I listed all previous passports etc, so I thought they would know the exact dates etc as it would come up on the system? 11/12 years is a long time, can't remember dates for sure :/

Where my ESTA went on PENDING AUTHORIZATION, I was guessing this was approved through manual intervention and not automatically by the system. Guessing, no one knows how this works.

Thanks again for your suggestions and advise on this.
No further immigration checks, you will be landing in a domestic terminal in the U.S. so straight out of the plane to collect your luggage and leave the terminal.

About your other question - honestly I don't know. I assume that if they approved your ESTA those previous visa refusals aren't an issue for them but as I said before you never know with U.S. immigration and that's why I was suggesting to travel through Dublin.

Just keep those previous visa refusals in mind because the CBP officer might ask about that when inspecting you either at Dublin or at your arrival airport in the U.S.
I am not a lawyer or immigration counselor, all views expressed are my own, my comments do not constitute legal advice.

easyguy
Newly Registered
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by easyguy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:04 pm

@max307 - Thanks for your advice/suggestions.

Just in case if it helps someone else in a similar situation, I booked the flights directly to US (destination airport) and I had no problems at immigration there.

I believe as long as you answer Yes to the visa refusals question, are honest on your ESTA application and your ESTA is approved, you should be able to travel without any issues.

Cf_firefly
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:51 am

Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by Cf_firefly » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:12 am

Hi @easyguy and @max307 ,

I have not started the application for ESTA Yet but i think I am in somewhat similar case . I cant remember the reason for my refusals of my Visas and cant seem to find the documentation as its 16 Years ago and other 13 yrs ago .

My case is I am British now and want to apply for ESTA but i had previous 2 refusals as below on Indian Passport :

1. In 2003 , i was refused Student Visa from Chennai Consulate , India . Cant remember the reason . It could be i was refused under Potential Immigrant category . I am not 100% sure .

2. In 2006 , I was refused H1B Visa from London Consulate , UK . Cant remember the reason .

Do we need to mention the reason why Visa was refused when filling the ESTA Application ?

Many thanks,
Firefly

max307
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Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by max307 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:46 pm

Cf_firefly wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:12 am
Hi @easyguy and @max307 ,

I have not started the application for ESTA Yet but i think I am in somewhat similar case . I cant remember the reason for my refusals of my Visas and cant seem to find the documentation as its 16 Years ago and other 13 yrs ago .

My case is I am British now and want to apply for ESTA but i had previous 2 refusals as below on Indian Passport :

1. In 2003 , i was refused Student Visa from Chennai Consulate , India . Cant remember the reason . It could be i was refused under Potential Immigrant category . I am not 100% sure .

2. In 2006 , I was refused H1B Visa from London Consulate , UK . Cant remember the reason .

Do we need to mention the reason why Visa was refused when filling the ESTA Application ?

Many thanks,
Firefly
I honestly don't know because I don't have any previous refusals so always entered "No" in that question.

You can always do a mock ESTA application and go all the way to that particular question to see if reason of refusal is part of the question.
I am not a lawyer or immigration counselor, all views expressed are my own, my comments do not constitute legal advice.

easyguy
Newly Registered
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:18 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by easyguy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:39 pm

@Cf_firefly

Basically it'll ask you whether you have been refused a visa previously+ -

7) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DENIED A U.S. VISA YOU APPLIED FOR WITH YOUR CURRENT OR PREVIOUS PASSPORT, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN REFUSED ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES OR WITHDRAWN YOUR APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION AT A U.S. PORT OF ENTRY?
YES/NO (choice)

So if you have had refusals before, you need to select YES then you get asked, WHEN and WHERE

In the WHEN field you will have enter the dates if you remember, at least the month/year and if it's two refusals you have mention 2 dates

For where, you have mention the location of where you had the refusals, which in your case would be Chennai, India and London, UK

It doesn't ask you anything more. Once your ESTA is approved you can travel using that and be prepared for any questions at immigration, since it was 2003/2006, I don't think they'll bother asking you anything on this. I wasn't asked either.
However they'll want to know what you plan to do in the US, how long you're staying for, where you're staying and if you enough funds etc. If you're travelling for work related purposes, it's fairly straight forward otherwise just be prepared to give any info regarding your travel plans.

Cf_firefly
Junior Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:51 am

Re: ESTA Application with previous visa approvals

Post by Cf_firefly » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:47 pm

@max307 - Thanks for the Mock application tip .

@easyguy - Many thanks for detailed reply and additional Info and advice .Highly appreciated.

Kind Regards ,
Firefly

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